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The Writer’s Journal – Keep Track of Your Writing

Ideas Journal

I have a lot of ideas running through my head at all times. Sometimes it can be annoying, especially when they pop up at one in the morning. Unfortunately, I tend to lose these ideas when I fall back asleep (if I get back to sleep at all). That’s why I keep a notebook next to my bed at all times. Most of the ideas are sleep deprived nonsense, but you never know what could be useful in the future. This is my Ideas Journal.

I have a couple of these lying around the house. They should be kept someone safe and accessible, but I’ve moved three times in the past two months, so they’re still in moving boxes. While it may be easier to use a digital form of notetaking, I still prefer the tactile sensation of putting pen to paper.

Experiment Journal

From my chicken-scratched ideas, I take the best ones and play around with them. Most of the time, they are gibberish, but that’s okay. It’s what this journal is used for. Half the time I write these in another notebook (I’m easy to buy for Christmases and Birthdays).

Other times, I write these on word, such as my Nanowrimo blogposts last year. The advantage of this is that it’s easy to keep together. However, I do recommend you save your documents on a cloud server. I can’t tell you how much I have lost trying to save things just on computers or USBs.

It’s important to remember is that this is not for anyone else but yourself. It doesn’t matter if what you wrote is the worst thing written ever. You’ll do better next time.

Research and Review-Journal

Last year, I attended Supernova’s writers’ panels. It was one of the most exceptional experiences as a writer. I learned so much from my peers. One of the best quotes I heard during the event was from VE Schwab:

Time spent thinking about writing and planning is still writing

VE Schwab, 2019

I hear a lot of people talk about you need to write every day to be a successful writer. Life, unfortunately, gets in the way. There have been many days and weeks where I physically haven’t written anything of significance. The past few months have been an example of this. However, in the back of my mind, I’m continually going through ideas, scenes, techniques, quickly writing ideas in the idea journal.

What I’ve also been doing is reading back through my previous projects and university lessons. These may not have directly contributed to my ongoing projects, but they will prove useful when I do get back to them. That’s what a Research and Review-Journal helps with.

This journal is more than just researching information for characters, plot and setting. It’s about researching different writing techniques from other authors and reviewing the methods you’ve adopted. My journal is a little more on the academic side; however, it doesn’t have to be. It’s your journal, your rules.

Journeys

Your journal is your writer’s journey. It’s personal. It can come in any shape or form on any platform you wish. I’ve shared mine from time to time because the teacher in me likes to help. But you do you.

If there are any journaling techniques you use, please share in the comments below or at our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter pages.

And as always – happy writing to you.

Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash